Ananda's Banishment from the Dharma-Compilation Council
replied, "When the Buddha was about to enter Nirvana and was approaching the town of , his back began to hurt. He spread out the uttarāsanga, folded it in four layers, lay down, and said to you, 'I need water.' You did not provide it for him. In this you committed a offense."
Ananda responded, "At that time five hundred carts were passing through the current and their fording caused the water to become turbid and dirty. It was because of this that I did not get any."
replied, "Even given that they had caused the water to become dirty, the Buddha has great spiritual power by which he is able to cause even a great ocean of polluted water to become pure. Why didn't you give it to him? In this there was an offense committed by you. Go and the repentance."
"Moreover," said, "The Buddha, by way of prompting you, said, 'If there were a person who had well cultivated the four bases of psychic power, his lifetime could continue for a kalpa or somewhat less than a kalpa.' The Buddha had well cultivated the four bases of psychic power. He wished for his lifetime to continue for a kalpa or somewhat less than a kalpa. But you remained silent and made no reply. He placed this question before you three times, but you deliberately remained silent. If only you had replied to Buddha, 'The Buddha has well cultivated the four bases of psychic power. He should remain for a kalpa or perhaps somewhat less than a kalpa.' It was because of you that the Buddha, the World Honored One, was caused to make an early entry into Nirvana. In this you committed a offense."
Ananda said, "Mara obscured my mind. It was because of this that I didn't say anything. It is not the case that I failed to reply to the Buddha on account of evil thoughts." responded, saying, "In your performing of the folding of the sanghatl| robe for the Buddha, you stepped on it. In this you committed a offense."
Ananda said, "At that time there was a big gust of wind which came up and nobody was assisting. When I picked up the robe, the wind blew it such that it came to fall under my foot. It is not the case that I was disrespectful and deliberately trod upon the Buddha's robe."
replied, saying, "After the Buddha had entered Parinirvāna, you revealed the Buddha's physical characteristic of genital ensheathment to women. How shameful this is! In this you committed a offense."
Ananda said, "At the time I thought, 'If women notice the Buddha's physical characteristic of genital ensheathment, then they might naturally come to feel chagrin regarding the female form and wish to gain [rebirth in] a male body whereby they might [more easily] cultivate the characteristics of a Buddha and plant the roots of merit.'
It was because of this that I revealed this characteristic to women. It was not a deliberate breaking of the prohibitions arising from shamelessness."
said, "You have committed six kinds of duskrta offenses. For all of them you should repent your transgressions in the presence of the Sangha."
Ananda said, "Alright, I shall accord with the instructions of the Venerable and the Sangha." At this time Ananda knelt, pressed his palms together, arranged his robe with the right shoulder bared, took off his leather sandals, and repented of six types of offenses. From within the midst of the assembly, led Ananda out by the hand and then said to Ananda, "Completely cut off your outflows and then afterwards you may come back in. As long as your residual fetters have not been brought to an end, you cannot come in." After he had said this he secured the door.
To be continued
English translation © 1996 Dharmamitra. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission of Kalavinka (http://www.teleport.com/~dh-mitra/)